Albert Paley has been an active metal artist for over 40 years. He graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Rochester, State University at Brockport, St Lawrence University and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. He has since created over 50 site-specific sculptures in his 40-year career, and he’s still creating! Paley Studios is located in Rochester, NY and employs 16 full-time people. Albert’s sculptures can be found in many major museums here in the US and Europe, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
What We Talked About:
- Albert Paley will be lecturing at the CanIronX blacksmithing conference in Nova Scotia. He will address iron design, historical ironwork, and evolutionary principles.
- While completing his BFA and MFA at the Tyler School of Arts in Philadelphia, he was involved with all of the disciplines in the program; drawing, painting, ceramics, and graphic arts. He completed his undergraduate work majoring in sculpture and minoring in metals.
- Albert took his master’s degree in goldsmithing, where he learned the forging discipline of the noble metals; silver, gold, and bronze. While forging the noble metals in the context of jewelry, he also forged most of his hand tools from steel.
- After graduating with his Masters of Fine Art, he taught classes on design theory for goldsmithing at the School for American Craftsmen, at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
- In 1972, Albert entered and won a competition to design the entry gates for the Renwick Gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution. These gates were a turning point in Albert’s career, bringing his design skills to the architectural arena.
- Albert recalls the beginning of ABANA when Alex Bealer and Brent Kington held one of the first blacksmithing conferences in Lubbock Texas around 1970. ABANA became an official organization shortly after this conference.
- Paley Studios is based in Rochester, NY and has 16 full-time employees making a variety of architectural work, independent sculpture, and furniture.
- Corning Inc approached Albert to do a six-month artist residency program with their Industrial division, working with scientists on the methodology of forming glass and metal together for visual esthetics. Specifically, Albert worked with a type of glass called 7056 which is compatible with a metal alloy called Kovar. The Kovar alloy is made up of steel, nickel and cobalt, and expands and contracts with the glass.
- Albert will be part of an International glass conference in San Jose, CA this summer where Corning will be introducing the 7056 glass with Kovar process and displaying the finished sculptures.
- “Paley on Park Avenue” was an installation of 13 sculptures installed along the median of Park Avenue, New York City in 2013. Albert has sold nine of the thirteen sculptures to cover the material costs, insurance costs, and structural engineering costs; there were no stipends provided for the project. PBS documentary film of the process that is up for a New York State Emmy Award.
- When asked what blacksmith he would like to spend a day with he mentions Alejandro Moscatelli, who has a large, diverse body of forge work and Edwardo Chillida, who made massive metal sculptures.
Books on Albert Paley and his work (signed copies available from Paley Studios, click here):
- Albert Paley on Park Avenue – 2013 Paley installed 13 sculptures on Park Avenue in NYC
- 26Fe – 2012 – Features Paley’s 12 forged sculptures created during his 2-week residency at the Rohssska Museum.
- Albert Paley in the 21st Century – 2010, Art Critic Carter Ratcliff discusses Paley’s work from the first ten years of the 21st Century
- Albert Paley Threshold – 2008, all about his 80 ft high x 40 ft wide x 35 ft deep sculpture
- Albert Paley Portals and Gates – 2007, this illustrates how Paley’s ideas merge onto paper then into the developmental stages and on to the finish and installation stages.
- Albert Paley Sculpture – 2006, a full spectrum of Albert’s sculptures from the past 30 years.
- Sentinel: The Design, Fabrication and Installation of the Monumental Sculpture – 2005, chronicles of one of Paley’s sculptures called the Sentinel.
- The Art of Albert Paley – 1996, an assessment of Paley’s work from the art critic and historian, Edward Lucie-Smith.
Instagram – paleystudios
Twitter – @paleystudios
An excellent article on Paley’s transition from jewelry to large scale architectural work: http://thejewelryloupe.com/albert-paley-bodily-ornamentation/
An NPR excerpt on Albert Paley: http://www.npr.org/2014/07/22/333596118/with-swirls-of-steel-these-sculptures-mark-the-passage-of-people-and-time
A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Cape Breton Blacksmiths Association
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